Who Is Behind The Scene?
Updated: Nov 29, 2019
This is probably the most important post I will write in this blog because it might cause a tangible break between your past and future certitudes about what you think to be. Once you will be able to peek behind the scene of reality, your entire life will inevitably change as a human being. Your fear and struggle will be alleviated and your true creative potential will be finally expressed.
“One day, two meditation students were looking at a blowing flag and debating a
philosophical point. One said the flag was moving. The other said the wind was
moving. At that point their teacher, Hui-Neng, an illiterate wood-cutter
who had been enlightened upon hearing a single line from
the Diamond Sutra, said they were both wrong:
"The mind is moving’’, he said”.
I would like you to read this post carefully with all the attention you have. The aim of this post is to point to something that you have probably overlooked for all your life. If you grasp this point, if you can make this first realization your life as a human will change. Many other difficulties and obstacles will be found on the way but this only realization will create a different context from which life can be interpreted and lived from a higher and more profound perspective. Honestly, it should not be considered an incredible realization at all and once you will grasp it you will not believe how you could miss it till now, but since we have been raised in a society completely oriented outwardly the obvious get often unnoticed.
Consciousness work, enlightenment or awakening aims to “simply” make you more conscious of what is happening right now, it helps you to look at reality with new fresh eyes. We take for granted so many things about our daily experiences that for most of us life has lost its magic side. We keep running here and there, stressed, concerned, angry, fearful without realizing the beauty of what is happening in this precise moment. The truth is that we like to maintain our self busy not to admit that our frenetic life is what keeps us survive. Doing rather than being has became our number one strategy not to notice the emptiness the resides within us. Stopping whatever we are doing would mean facing our own shit and no one really wants to do that: much better to cover the smell by engaging our self in new activities and keep going.
Right now something magic is happening and to be able to reacquire this sense of awe we need to make this very first step that will turn reality from being material, mechanical, logical and rational into something that can be simply appreciated and lived for what it is, a sort of miracle. This is the step to start removing your fears, the step to create whatever you want in life with commitment, dedication and passion. The paradoxical thing about this realization is that it does exists (and it is the only thing existing) but it is impossible to point it as an object. However, language can be used to guide you toward this realization that can be described as a deep ah-ah moment, a rush of awe, a precise moment that will change forever your life.
Without further hesitation, let’s start.
At the moment you think to be someone or something. Stop for moment and write down what you think to be. I do not mean what is your profession or hobby, I mean what you think to be existentially. You do not need to invent anything or base your answer on something you have heard or read. You should simply be able to put in black and white what you consider to be: might be a body-mind entity, might be a soul or spirit, might be a human being, you name it. This question, that should be clear for everyone, does not get too much our attention because we have been already told what we are and so we tend to spend our life in getting busy by doing activities without really have clear on behalf of who.
Whatever you wrote down, this is the subject, this is you, the entity that is perceiving the world. Whoever you wrote down it has to be the ultimate subject, the final perceiver of any experience occurring to you. That means that this subject cannot be seen, heard, touched, smelt, tasted or perceived by you. If you could sense yourself, for obvious reason “that” would be an object of your perception and not the subject. An example might clarify better what I mean. There is no doubt that you are not the tree in front of you because you can perceive it and sense it as a separate object. However, when we applied the same principle to our physical entity, things might get a little bit more confusing. Notice that in writing down your answer you drew a separation, a line that defines two sides: what is you and what is not-you. This line is what defines your identity and it is what defines your fears. Whatever you wrote down as your identity has to be protected and therefore anything threatening this boundary will be feared and fought. For this reason whatever dress you have decided to wear as your identity has a profound impact on your life because it defines and influences your daily behavior and choices. Do not dismiss this point too fast.
When I have started this work I, as everyone else, thought to be a physical human being made out of my body, my mind, emotions, feelings and sensations. I was considering all these things "me". However, after starting contemplating and challenging this taken for granted position something profound happened. It become clear that whatever I existentially am must be that which is aware of any inward and outward daily experiences and perceptions. I realized in a moment that there was someone/something that "knew" or was aware of my emotions, feelings, thoughts, sensations. There was someone/something that was observing not only what was happening outside my body but every aspect of my inner world. In a moment I could observe thoughts, feelings, positive and negative emotions (such as fear, joy, excitement, anger) from a detached perspective as if I was looking at a movie. There was not anymore difference between perceiving or being aware of a tree in the park or a sensation in the body. Both where happening at the same distance from me. Whoever or whatever I discovered to be, I was aware of everything and what I was considering previously to be "me" became an object that could be observed.
I will not tell you what I realized to be, I just want to help you in guiding towards this discovery.
I would like you to sit wherever you want and focus in answering these questions. Take the time to do this exercise with the aim of challenging your current position. Do this exercise with open mind without holding to any previous knowledge. Jut trust your direct personal experience like a new born child discovering the world. To put it clearly this exercise has the only aim to find yourself, wherever and whatever you are. The aim of this exercise is to find the ultimate subject, you, that experiences and perceives the world. I am sure that whatever you wrote down will not match whatever you will find to be.
1. Are you aware of the screen in front of you? Do you perceive it? Do you realize that the screen is an object and you are the subject? Make clear where the subject is, point it out with your finger.
2. Now put your left hand in front of your face and ask yourself the same questions as before. Are you aware of the hand you have in front? Do you perceive it? Do you realize that the hand is an object that can be perceived and you are the subject perceiving it? Make clear where the subject is, point it.
3. Keep focusing on the hand but this time on any sensation happening within the hand. Might be the feeling of being cold or warm, some energy flowing through it, some sensation of heaviness or lightness. Observe them, acknowledge that you are aware of all these sensations. Admit that you clearly can point where these feelings and emotions are happening and that you, whatever you are, are perceiving it. Make clear that all these sensations can be held as object that can be pointed and identified by you.
4. Now move your attention along your forearm and arm until the head and focus your attention to any feeling along the way. Again observe anything you can recognize, acknowledge that you are aware of all these sensations. Admit that you can clearly point out where these feelings and emotions are happening and that you, whatever you are, are perceiving it.
If you want you could do this exercise for all the body. The point is to eventually recognized that whatever is happening within the body can be perceived as an object in the same way that the screen. You need to be able to draw a line between you and all the events happening within the body. Do not get lost in thinking that these are "your" emotions and feelings and that the screen is something else. Just be preoccupied to acknowledge that these sensations and emotions can be pointed and recognized as a normal object present in the world like the screen. The only difference is that unlike any other objects, these emotions and feelings cannot be seen, touched, smelt, heard but nevertheless they can be perceived by you no matter how. Can you do that? Can you consider emotions and feelings to be at the same level as the screen, as objects that can be pointed and recognized?
Now the interesting part starts. Now you have to focus on your mind. What do I mean by mind? Any thoughts, any inner dialogue, any inner voices, any sound, any memory, any sentence, any images occurring in your head is what I define mind. Try not to think about anything for a second and then make appear within your head the image of a tree. That tree is mind. Try to silence your head and then make appear the sentence “I am a human”. That sentence is mind. Keep silencing your head and think “I am”. This thought is mind. Literally any movement happening in your head is mind. It can take the form of a sound, an image, a phrase, a thought, a dialogue, a memory. It is all mind according to my definition.
Now I want to realize and acknowledge that any sound, thoughts, inner dialogue or voice, any sentence, any image happening in your head is known. Everything occurring within your head right now can be pointed, isolated. Realized that any of this activity is nothing else than another object that is known by you. Ask yourself: “If I am that which is aware of all these things, who am I?”, “What or who is left that can perceive all these things?”. Most important than any other question is: “Who is asking these questions?”. Your answer might be "me", "me of course" or something along this line. Do you realize that all these questions and answers are nothing else than another movement within the head? If now you answered “yes I realized”, this is another thought or sentence within the head that can be recognized by you, therefore cannot be you. You need to find the one, that is you, out of which all these sentences are popping out. You need to find the one that can "observe" all these movements.
I would like to stress once again the fact that so far you have probably thought to be the voice or dialogue in your head. You have probably identified yourself for all these years with whatever was arising in your head. I want you to acknowledge that anything happening in your head can be held as an object rather than what you are. Watch out because this point is critical and really tricky and sneaky. Once you will break this wall new perspectives and challenges are going to happen to you. This exercise is something mind does not want to do because mind is what literally is you at your current state of consciousness and if you dis-identify with the mind you will literally die. Since your entire life and your personal history are basically thoughts, memories, inner dialogue and voices within the head, if you detach from them, whatever you thought to be dies.
Can you make the fundamental shift in realizing that whatever answers you came up with during this exercise is still perceivable and recognizable by you, whatever you means? It is like looking at a painting where all the colors and shapes and images can be compared to what we refer as our feelings, emotions, sensations and mind. These colors and shapes could not exist and be observable without a ground on which to appear. In the case of a painting the ground is the canvas. You need to find the ground for what you call your feelings, emotions, sensations, mind. Where do they appear? Who or what do they have to thank to be able to make their appearance?
Once you find the ground, you find you, the observer, that which can notice all these events happening every second during the day. You are that which cannot be turned into an object, the ultimate subject. Who are you?
Once again, it is likely that at the moment you and mind are the same thing and what I am trying to point here is the fact that mind can be known by you so cannot be you. Be vigilant: any thought, excuse, way of reasoning, doubts, voice, sound arising in the head during this challenging moment is still mind, not you. Be extremely clear that you can detach from all these events happening in the head. Sit comfortably and enjoy the show of all the emotions, feeling, thoughts, voices, dialogues, sound, images happening in the body and head.
As I said this detachment step is only half way to awakening and much more has to be realized to dig more on the nature of this new identity that you are. However this represent a fundamental step and therefore I suggest you to read this post several times until it is crystal clear the difference between you and mind.
Please write down any comment or doubt you have during this contemplation and I would like you to let me know who you realized to be after this exercise.
Let me know who or what is behind the scene.
Thanks for reading and see you next week!